Staying true to its word to provide support for Georgia’s breakaway territories, Russia announced today it has deployed anti-aircraft missiles in Abkhazia. According to some Russian experts, the move could be a warning directed at Nato and the United States to not meddle in the region. Georgia is worried. From a BBC report:
In a statement released by the Russian government, air force commander-in-chief General Alexander Zelin said the role of the missiles would be “anti-aircraft defence of the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia”.
The self-styled Abkhaz “foreign minister”, Maxim Gvinjia, later contradicted Gen Zelin, telling the BBC that the general’s statement on the S-300s had been “misinterpreted”.
But Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister Temur Yakobashvili expressed anxiety over Russia’s statement.
“This should be of concern not only for Georgia but also for other regional actors including Nato,” he told the AFP news agency.
“It is very obvious that Russia is using these occupied territories as a military platform for larger plans than only Georgia”.